Poor Run Continues
Attendance: 27, 864
Despite taking the lead at Upton Park through a fine finish from debutant Tamas Priskin Derby County fell to a fourth straight defeat as they went down 3-1 to West Ham United in front of the Skysports camera`s. There were welcome returns to the starting line-up for a number of injured players and Priskin was in from the start after his midweek switch and he put his new side in front after being played through on goal by Jamie Ward. Carlton Cole headed an equaliser just before halftime and the home side applied the pressure after the break. Kevin Nolan volleyed his side in front twenty minutes into the second half and Mark Noble tucked home a penalty with just over fifteen minutes to go to tie up the points and prolong Derby`s losing streak to four games.
Nigel Clough recalled Shaun Barker, Paul Green and James Bailey to the starting line-up after injuries and Tamas Priskin was also named as the sole striker in a 4-5-1 formation after joining on loan from Ipswich Town during the week. West Ham looked to keep the pressure on Southampton at the top the table and took the game to The Rams in the early stages but Barker and Jason Shackell stood firm with Frank Fielding having little to do in the opening stages. In wasn`t until the twenty-ninth minute that he had a save to make when he palmed out Jack Collison`s long-range effort and pounced on the rebound as Freddie Piquionne looked to take advantage.
Derby eased their way back into the match having a little more possession and looking more of a threat going forward and Priskin scored a goal on his debut after thirty-five minutes. Jamie Ward won the ball back in midfield and his superbly weighted pass sent the Hungarian clean through on goal and he clinically finished across Robert Green and into the far corner to give his side the lead. The advantage was short-lived though as Carlton Cole rose highest to meet a Joey O`Brien cross from the right and he headed home despite John Brayford`s attempt to clear off the line and the sides went in level at the break.
The home side looked to apply the pressure after halftime and dominated the opening minutes but again failed to test Fielding in the Derby goal. The former England Under-12 international was called into action just before the hour mark though when he bravely blocked from Piquionne six yards from goal. The pressure eventually told after sixty-five minutes when a loose ball dropped to Kevin Nolan and firmly struck volley beat Fielding low to his right to put West Ham in front for the first time.
Ten minutes later the home side tied up the points when they were awarded a penalty for a foul by Craig Bryson on Piquionne right on the edge of the area. Mark Noble stepped up and beat Fielding from the spot to put his side two goals ahead. Mark O`Brien, Jeff Hendrick and Conor Doyle were all introduced from the bench in place of Shaun Barker, John Brayford and Jamie Ward respectively and Gareth Roberts did well to hack another Piquionne effort off of the line in the closing stages to prevent a fourth goal and heavier defeat for The Rams.
West Ham United: Green, McCartney, Nolan, Tomkins, Baldock (Piquionne 20), Cole (Carew 76), Collison, Faye, Noble, O'Brien, Faubert (Taylor 82).
Subs Not Used: Stech, Demel
Derby County: Fielding, Brayford (O'Brien 77), Barker (Hendrick 77), Shackell, Roberts, B Davies, Green, Bailey, Bryson, Ward (Doyle 79), Priskin
Subs Not Used: Legzdins, Buxton.